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Mom repaying funds stolen from cheerleaders

Updated: Monday, November 18 2013, 12:51 PM EST

By: Jennifer Black

A former Shadyside High School cheer mom who admitted to stealing thousands from the cheerleading organization earlier this year returned to Eastern Division Court for a review hearing on Monday.

“I’ve been making my payments.  I've been trying to make extra payments, and I just dropped the price of my house to try and get it sold,” Olivia Patterson said.

Belmont County Judge John Vavra presided over Monday’s hearing. The purpose of the hearing was to keep tabs on if Patterson is repaying the $6,900 she admitted to taking.

“I lost my job over this. This has destroyed my life,” Patterson said.

In January, Patterson was ordered to make an in-person apology to the cheerleading organization and repay the full amount in increments of $200 per month.  

As of Monday, court records indicate that Patterson has paid back $1,755.

Patterson told the judge that she is working around nine hours a week at a pizza shop and has been unable to get a full-time job.  Patterson said she is hoping to sell her home soon to help make payments faster.

“You understand this isn't going to go away?” Vavra said.  

“It'll go away after it's paid off,” Patterson said.   “I’m trying to get it paid off as quickly as possible so it will go away.”

In the meantime, the cheerleading organization has been trying to find ways to operate with nearly $7,000 less in its fund, which typically pays for things like uniforms and choreographers.

“Every time somebody does this, it impacts kids. It's not adults.  It impacts kids, and that's the bottom line,” Superintendent John Haswell said.

Haswell said, despite this negative situation, the community has stepped in to support the cheerleaders.
“A private donor gave $3,500 to help our cheer parents get the uniforms for the kids, so somebody came through and helped us," Haswell said.

Patterson is due back in court for another review on Jan. 27.

Mom repaying funds stolen from cheerleaders

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